Freddie Gibbs' continued success both in and outside of rap was derailed in June of 2016, following his arrest and detainment in Europe on grounds of year-old allegations of sexual assault. Gibbs was acquitted of all charges last fall and returned to his young family, reflecting on "How in one summer one n*gga could lose it all" with You Only Live 2wice.
The most revealing look at Gibbs' incarceration comes over the plaintive violin of "Crushed Glass," on which he finds himself "sittin' in a cell missin' show dates," barely eating or bathing, having visiting hours with his fiancé though he "can't wipe her tears from behind the glass." Gibbs also mines his past here, reflecting on what his drug-slinging past brought him on "Dear Maria" and "Amnesia," yet he realizes in the end that his family comes first. He also learns that not everyone can be trusted since coming home on closer "Homesick."
Mechanically, the hooks that adorned Shadow of a Doubt are largely absent, though Gibbs' increased attention to melody that was displayed on the aforementioned 2015 LP remains. A demonstrated improvement in his singing is noticeable on the breezy "Andrea," while "Phone Lit" finds Gibbs lilting his way through a smooth hook.
The project's cover shows Gibbs rising above the earth again, akin to Christ. In closing, he declares: "I'm back. And I ain't going nowhere this time." (ESGN/Empire)